Study: Those On The Right Tend To Be More Charitable Than Those On The Left
We’ve seen studies indicating this trend before, but for what it’s worth a new study from the Chronicle of Philanthropy indicates that citizens religious/right leaning states are more charitable as individuals than those living in non-religious/left leaning states.
Of the 10 least generous states, nine voted for Democrat Barack Obama for president in the last election. By contrast, of the 10 most generous states, eight voted for Republican John McCain.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy attributes the trend more to religion than politics, but I’m not sure I agree, mostly because I’m not sure you can separate religion and politics when talking about a given individual’s personal philosophy and belief system. This is why more religious Americans tend to be Republicans, whereas less religious Americans tend to be Democrat.
That doesn’t always hold true, of course. I know some very devout Christian liberals, while I personally am an atheist and quite conservative. But generally speaking, the trend holds.
What it speaks to, more than religious beliefs, is simple individualism. Our friends on the left tend to prefer collective solutions for problems, seeking laws and government programs which will shape society into what they think it should be. Conservatives aren’t so top down, preferring individual action and resisting getting caught up in grand social engineering projects which often have little respect for the liberties of the individual.
Conservatives are fine with allowing individuals to make up their own minds about which charitable causes to support (or none at all). Liberals would prefer that we all be forced, by law, to participate in their charitable endeavors.Tags: charity, conservatives, liberals